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Diabetes and Life Insurance
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Life Insurance for Diabetics
Diabetes and Disability Insurance
By Richard F. O’Boyle, Jr., MBA, LUTCF
Getting a disability insurance policy if you are diabetic is difficult, but not impossible. The challenge for individuals with diabetes is that when not properly managed, the disease can lead to serious health consequences, many of them disabling. We’ll show you how to present the best possible application to the insurance company and get the best rates.
When applying for disability insurance, the insurance company is going to want to see excellent control of the disease. Not everyone can show that. If you have some complications or don’t have perfect control, you will most likely have to take a “rated” policy. Rated policies will have reduced benefit amounts and benefit periods. In some cases, disability from diabetes complications will be explicitly exempted from the policy.
Disability insurance replaces the income for an individual who is disabled and cannot work. As such, if you get hurt for a certain time period, disability insurance would pay you a part of your income. Long term disability insurance provides coverage for the length of your disability up to 65 years of age or for a particular number of years or until you can return to work.
The insurance company takes into consideration your health status, your income and your occupation when determining the price of your disability insurance policy. Your policy becomes more costly when your occupation statistically may more likely result in a disability. The salary and occupation of an individual plays a vital role on the price of the policy.
Generally speaking, disability insurance policies will pay up to 60% of your base salary for a specified period of time. The policy can be customized to last for a disability of up to five years (or more in some cases), or to provide a more generous benefit in the event of total “catastrophic” disability. These policies are different from Accidental Death & Dismemberment policies with may make a payment in the event of the loss of a limb or accidental death.
When preparing to submit an application for diabetes disability insurance, it’s important to find a disability insurance agent who is experienced and reputable. Disability insurance usually falls under the same licensing regime as life insurance and health insurance. If you have an agent for that, you can start there. But it’s usually a good idea to work with a disability insurance specialist.
First and foremost, be honest with yourself and the agent. When the application is submitted, the insurance company will collect copies of your medical records, so be as accurate as you can. The underwriters will be looking for:
- HbA1c levels of 7 or less
- Regular exercise
- Limited alcohol use
- Height-weight proportionate
- No vision problems
- Normal blood pressure
- No issues with foot care or nerve pain
Once your agent has a clear picture of your health status, you can accurately complete the application. In many cases, it’s a good idea to submit a covering letter along with the application that adds a bit more information that might not be included in medical records. For example, you might note that you belong to a gym and attend regularly – most gyms can print off a sheet that shows the dates you checked in and whether you signed up for group fitness classes.
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